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South Valley Journal

Controversial rezone denied at 11800 South and 4000 West

Mar 28, 2017 03:22PM ● By Tiffany Webb

Photo from slide show presented at the city council meeting on March 7. An aerial view of the area requesting to be rezoned. (Riverton City)

By Tiffany Webb | [email protected]

Another application to rezone the property located at 11800 S. and 4000 West was denied at the March 7 city council meeting.

Currently, the property at 11800 S. and 4000 West is zoned for a church facility at the south end. Approximately 10 acres to the north of the church property was up for rezone from R-3, which are third acre lots to R-4, which are fourth acre lots at the March 7 city council meeting.

There have been several rezone applications for this property. Back on June 4, 2013, it was approved from R-4 to R-3. Once again on Nov. 17, 2015, there was a rezone application submitted to have it zoned back to an R-4 designation. This was denied. Then, this past Jan. 3, there was another application for rezone from R-3 to R-4 and CG, a mix of residential and commercial, which was also denied by the council.

During the Mar. 7 council meeting, another rezone application for the same property stood before the council. This one asked to have it rezoned from R-3 to R-4 without the commercial designation that was suggested at the Jan. 3 meeting. According to Jason Lethbridge, the community development director of Riverton City, the planning commission forwarded a denial recommendation to the city council.

Paul Bringhurst, a Riverton resident that represents the applicant, Ron Martinez, spoke during the public hearing at the March 7, commenting on issues brought up by residents at the planning commission meeting. Some residents stated that having smaller homes would diminish property value and that they would have the potential to attract crime to the area. Bringhurst said he thought these concerns were invalid.

“I would think that we would want to provide housing choices,” Bringhurst said. “I would think we would be all-inclusive and include a demographic of diverse incomes and that we would want to support different housing choices.”

Resident Wade Davis, who lives close to the property up for rezone, spoke during the public hearing on March 7 as well.

“I can sense a lot of frustration, a lot of nerves,” he said. “You can sense that in the room. All of us feel it, which is not a good feeling.”

Davis also spoke about how the extra homes added to the area with the fourth acre lots would add more children to Midas Creek Elementary School. In addition to the facts Davis presented, he also presented a petition that was signed by 52 people to keep the property zoned at third acre lots. 

To back Davis’ statement, Councilwoman Tricia Tingey commented on the issue of Midas Creek Elementary issue.

“Any extra impact to that school will make it more crammed than it already is. The impact of nine extra houses is an impact. That will add a full extra classroom of students to that school which is an extra classroom that they do not have.” Tingey said.

One thing can be said of all residents that spoke during the council meeting. They are wanted the development to be used for housing purposes instead of for commercial purposes.

Resident Terry Hunter felt that the sooner houses go in, the better it will be for the because they won’t need to defend this piece of land. Hunter went on to state her opinion that if there aren’t houses built soon, there will be more rezone applications submitted. She said she believes that the longer it takes to build homes, the more probable it will be for commercial developments to try and move in.

Tingey made the motion to deny the application to rezone from R-3 to R-4 with a second to deny the motion made by Councilman Brent Johnson. Before a roll-call vote could be carried through, however, Councilman Sheldon Stewart made a substitute motion to approve the application with a second from Councilman Trent Staggs.

The substitute motion failed in a 3-2 vote, and the original motion to deny the application passed with a 3-2 vote. With the rezone denied, the lot that has garnered many frustrations still remains an R-3 zone that allows third acre lots.